This Austin gal was one of many people IndyAustin asked about Austin subsidizing a sports stadium in the middle of an affordability crisis and without a public vote. No mincing of words spoken.

Subsidize a sports stadium, City of Austin?

This Save Our Springs Alliance alert – Water, Affordability, or Soccer Giveaways, Which Do You Choose? – just hit email boxes today. And it references Austin’s successful efforts in 1995 to take down the plan to subsidize an “emergency baseball stadium.” It also shows how the current “sucker stadium” (our words) is far worse and points to the hypocrisy of the Mayor and majority Council’s (supposed) concerns about Austin’s affordability crisis by placing the stadium on property deemed prime for affordable housing!

History does not exactly repeat itself…but

The basic dynamics are the same in these two rushed public subsidy deals. Both have Mayor Todd and now Mayor Adler, let’s politely say, “massaging” the truth to land the deals. We caught Todd repeatedly on false claims. And the same is happening with Adler and his lobbyist pal, Richard Suttle, on this deal.

Be sure to watch Susan Spataro, the former longtime Travis County Auditor, who spoke today (August 7) at the Council’s Special Meeting after developers presented some interesting alternatives for McKalla. (The video should be up here tomorrow, August 8. Spataro spoke at 4:25 pm.)

In 1995, Austin had a community uprising on the “emergency baseball stadium.” This included Austin media (especially radio jocks) and people from all political persuasions – even baseball fans. We came together because we just flat out got tired of being played for suckers.

Now Mayor Adler is playing with the same matches
that can ignite a citizen uprising.

But there’s one critical difference. Today, we have a more formidable coalition beginning to gel like we’ve never seen before in Austin, including businesses and developers who would rather being doing business. But the Mayor has insisted on an ever-narrowing group with which he is doing business. This is forcing us together, whether we like it or not! One, quite surprising to us, is Circuit of the Americas. (Some of us fought the COTA subsidies way back when.) Today, we are sympathetic to COTA’s offer to have the soccer team operate out of COTA. Moreover we simply do not understand why COTA was turned down and believe this tells you there is more than meets the eye on this “deal.”

Whether IndyAustin winds up doing a petition drive for a public vote depends on what decision is made at Thursday’s Council meeting and what the Austin community does to help.

For now, you can help avoid any petition by doing this:

  • Call or email your council member and please DO CALL the Mayor this time (see below for details.) Just tell them you want them to vote on the final “soccer deal” (and not to just put it in the hands of the City Manager.) Tell them YOU also want to vote on any stadium deal in November. The Council can vote to put it up for a public vote on or before August 20th. They can also slow down and look at the alternative options presented by several developers today to the Council.
  • Show up on Thursday at City Hall starting at 3 pm. You can also pick up some of these handy-dandy “Adler currencies.”
  • Volunteer! Help us distribute 10,000 Adler currency fliers now and at Saturday’s Gay Pride events.

Our financial independence depends on large numbers of people giving small donations. So, please give and share this message with your Austin pals and ask them to do the same.

“We must all hang together or most assuredly we will all hang separately”, Ben Franklin.

How to Contact your City Leaders

Email Option: You can send one email to the Mayor and all City Council Members by completing the form at this link:

Phone Calls to Mayor and City Council Members
Adler = 512-978-2100
Houston = 512-978-2101
Garza = 512-978-2102
Renteria = 512-978-2103
Casar = 512-978-2104 (District 4 – 78753)
Kitchen = 512-978-2105
Flannigan = 512-978-2106
Pool = 512-978-2107 (District 7 – 78758)
Troxclair = 512-978-2108
Tovo = 512-978-2109
Alter = 512-978-2110